India’s Northeast: How a Troubled Region May Be a Global Flashpoint

In the world's largest democracy, recent fears of pogroms and ethnic violence have highlighted just how fractious and febrile India's social makeup is.

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Anupam Nath / AP

Migrants from the northeastern Indian states disembark from a train departing from the southern Indian city of Bangalore after arriving in Guwahati, in Assam state, on Aug. 18, 2012

In the world’s largest democracy, recent fears of pogroms and ethnic violence have highlighted just how fractious and febrile India’s social makeup is. Rumors circulating last week of planned attacks on migrants from the Indian Northeast saw tens of thousands of Northeasterners in some of India’s main cities cram onto trains bound for their remote homelands. The “exodus” — as it was branded in bold block letters by the Indian media — followed earlier incidents of ethnic strife in the northeastern state of Assam, where members of the indigenous Bodo tribe clashed with Bengali Muslim settlers, driving hundreds of thousands of Muslims out of their homes. Mass SMSes, emails and posts over Facebook and Twitter warned of (and, in some cases, encouraged) Muslim reprisal attacks on Northeasterners in cities like India’s tech capital, Bangalore, as the Muslim holy month of Ramadan drew to a close, sparking a nationwide panic.

The threat, it seems, has subsided in the past few days, with many of those who fled now returning to their livelihoods in Bangalore and elsewhere. The government, even backed by the Opposition, has made the right noises, appealing to national solidarity, condemning attacks on all sides and assuring minorities of their safety. Officials predictably pointed the finger at internet troublemakers across the border in Pakistan; the Indian media is now wringing its hands over the pernicious effects of social media and the threat of further “cyber terror.”

(MORE: Fearing Attacks, Thousands Continue to Flee Bangalore)

But as the hysteria ebbs, serious challenges remain. The seven states of the Indian Northeast, a vast, rugged appendage off the Indian mainland suspended between China, Bhutan, Burma and Bangladesh, are among the country’s most impoverished and least developed, and are still beset by myriad ethnic insurgencies. Elsewhere in India, Northeasterners, many of whom look closer in appearance to neighboring populations in China and Southeast Asia, face daily, casual racism. The success of Northeastern athletes such as the Olympic medal winning boxer Mary Kom offers small moments of acceptance for a region that is often met by the rest of India with blithe ignorance. “It is not so much about whether I feel Indian or not, but whether people feel I am Indian or not. I constantly have to prove my Indian-ness,” says Yengkhom Jilangamba, an academic based in New Delhi who hails from Manipur, a state on the border with Burma. “It is traumatic, it makes you angry and sometimes you just shrug it off, but it is always there with you.”

The alienation felt by many Northeasterners is in part a consequence of the region’s distance — both geographic and cultural — from the rest of the country. The lands that it comprises fell under British colonial rule in the mid-19th century and eventually were amalgamated into a pluralist, polyglot newly independent Indian republic. “It’s the most complex place in Asia,” says Sanjoy Hazarika, chairman and director of the Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research in New Delhi. “You have 220 ethnic groups packed into a triangular shape of land linked to India by just a tiny corridor.” But, says Hazarika, a legacy of poor governance, weak local leadership and volatile, violent politics has seen it lag drastically behind the rest of the country. The Armed Forces Special Powers Act, the same draconian military law that New Delhi has in place over restive Kashmir, is in effect over stretches of the seven northeastern states where numerous fractured, armed, anti-government movements still operate. A climate of apprehension and insecurity has stymied development, prompting hundreds of thousands to seek employment in India’s main cities.

(MORE: India Continues to Grapple with Fallout from Assam Violence)

“The complexity of the region continues to confound the bureaucrats and politicians in Delhi,” says Hazarika. This year’s violence in Assam between the indigenous Bodos and Bengali Muslims was hardly anything new. Similar clashes have taken place for decades; for some Muslim communities in Assam, a whole generation has grown up in refugee camps. The Bodos and other groups in the region — as well as the main opposition party, the Hindu nationalist BJP, in New Delhi — complain of illegal immigration of Bengali Muslims from Bangladesh, which, they say, has been encouraged by various governments to create blocs of voters permanently in their debt. Yet like the Bengali-speaking Muslim Rohingyas facing persecution in nearby Burma, many of these Muslims know no other home than Assam and India. “It’s more difficult to actually resolve issues related to land resources and ethnic tensions than it is to make a hue and cry about illegal immigration,” says Hazarika.

For some Northeasterners, disillusionment has set in. “The authorities are to blame here. They failed to learn a lesson from previous incidences of violence,” says Ritupan Goswami, a researcher at the Council for Social Development, a New Delhi-based NGO, who is originally from the Assamese capital, Guwahati. “Given the current situation I think secession from India is better for the people. I for one do not consider myself an Indian national—rather an Assamese national.” Secession, though long the rallying call for an array of distinct separatist groups, each championing their own ethnic fief, is not in the cards, nor necessarily a popular aspiration.

(MORE: Million Rupee Baby: India’s Mary Kom Could Be the Olympics’ Most Unlikely Champion)

Ninong Ering, a Member of Parliament from the ruling Congress party, serving a constituency in the mountainous state of Arunachal Pradesh, insists most of what ails the Northeast and its over 40 million people can be solved with concerted plans for developing industries and the region’s currently woeful infrastructure. “Our boys don’t really go into [insurgent groups] because they want sovereignty or something like that,” says Ering. “It’s because of poverty. There’s nowhere to go. There’s nothing for them to do here.”

The region’s geo-political relevance cannot be understated. The shadow of China looms large — Beijing still claims much of the territory of Arunachal Pradesh as its own and has ramped up its investment and infrastructure along the contested border with India, while nationalist Chinese websites routinely urge China’s leadership to stealthily wrest the Northeast away from India. Various insurgent groups — from Assam’s ULFA to separatist factions in the state of Nagaland — have ties to a host of regional actors, ranging from sympathetic rebel ethnic militias in Burma to both Pakistan and Bangladesh’s military intelligence agencies. Though far from New Delhi’s corridors of power, the Northeast ought to increasingly preoccupy the concerns of its strategists.

Ering says the central government is on the right track to bringing stability to the region, albeit belatedly. Its potential for hydropower could go a long way in addressing India’s longstanding energy shortfalls. New planned roads and rail lines could restore colonial-era trade links that once threaded India together with Southeast Asia, turning a remote backwater into a continental crossroads. But beyond development, Ering says, other steps can be taken to better integrate the Northeast with the rest of India. “We all go to school and learn about the Indus Valley and the Mahabharata,” he says, referring to South Asia’s first urban civilization and the ancient Hindu epic. “But there should be something more in our education that makes people understand that, OK, the people of the Northeast may look Chinese or Korean or whatever, but they are Indians. And their stories are India’s also.”

with reporting by Nilanjana Bhowmick/New Delhi

58 comments
dhimanchakma
dhimanchakma

did u ever get the facts clear or the groundwork research done on how many bangladeshis - muslims or hindus illegally migrated into Northeastern Indian states specially Assam and Tripura. I belong to Tripura where the Illegal Immigratnts have outnumbered and overpowered the indigenous population.The run the government which itself supports the immigration in a veiled and secretive way.You can find people getting Indian documents like - Ration Cards,Voter cards by paying a nominal Bribe.The govt which comprises mostly of the earlier illegal immigrants now has tried to marginalize the indigenous population by tweaking their history and imposing their culture on them. But it is seldom reported because most of them were Bengali HINDUS and the indigenous population- Mongoloid Tribes. The locals have faced this isolation and fear of loosing their identity for a long time without any help from the Indian Government which has proper knowledge about this happenings but lacks the desire or any utmost sympathy for them.The people their have almost given up their hope. Such is the apathy of the people of NE India.

SauravJha
SauravJha

Well, if Ninong Ering read the ancient Hindu epic Mahabharata a little closely, he would know that India's two 'northeastern most' states, Manipur and Nagaland played a central role in that text. Chitrangada, the princess of Manipur was Arjuna's ( arguably the hero of the Mahabharata) most powerful wife along with Uloopi, the Naga princess. Chitrangada and Arjuna's  son Bhabruvahana, trained by Uloopi grew up to become India's greatest warrior surpassing even his father Arjuna. 

The Northeastern states are an integral part of India's history, soul and politics.  They will always be an integral part of India.

Guest
Guest

India is maybe the most heterogeneous country on earth. highly diverse religious make-up, highly diverse-language make up even with many different scripts, highly diverse ethnic make-up and, to top it all, there are even two different language families within that country (Tamil Nadu and Hindustan). 

Having that in mind it should not be all too surprising that problems arouse.

Amit_Atlanta_USA
Amit_Atlanta_USA

People like Plagarist Mr. Fareed Zakaria (amp; his late Muslim Scholar Indian father Mr.Rafiq Zakaria) still say that Muslims are discriminated in India, and also in the US which are in reality two of the greatest secular democracies in the world.

Check this out from Eric Trager in the Community Magazine 11-19-2008

"Mere hours into the horrific attacks in Mumbai, CNN/Newsweek bloviator Fareed Zakaria inaugurated the typical “root causes” debate by “explaining” away the terrorists’ motivation:

He Said “One of the untold stories of India is that the Muslim population has not shared in the boom the country has enjoyed over the last ten years. There is still a lot of “INSTITUTIONAL discrimination, and many remain persecuted. There’s enough alienation out there that there are locals who can be drawn in to plots.”

Eric Trager goes on to say ……..”Indeed, if ‘institutional discrimination’ against Indian Muslims is truly a “root cause” of the Mumbai attacks, Fareed Zakaria is either a shamefully unobservant journalist or a BLATANT APOLOGIST FOR TERRORISTS".

Amit_Atlanta_USA
Amit_Atlanta_USA

 Now these illegal Muslims want a separate homeland for themselves after displacing the ethnic Bodos!

It's a tragedy that even as India's unconcerned, educated Hindus are willowing in their RECENTLY acquired richness (thanks to IT amp; BPO) in FACADE of showmanship as the multitudes suffer, the country is withering away at the seams through an influx of these illegal Muslims, with complete backing from the local Muslims.

 These so-called educated Indians don't even realize that what's shown as India in the maps (Indian ofcourse) is no longer the case with vast lands chipped away by Pakistan, China, Bangladesh and now deep fissures right in the heartland!

 STILL BELIEVE IN THE SLOGAN "INDIA SHINING"........YOU MUST BE KIDDING !!!!

Amit_Atlanta_USA
Amit_Atlanta_USA

I am deeply ashamed as an Indian to see what’s befalling my former homeland. India’s corrupt ruling congress party (minus the Sikh PM who’s an exception though) led by late former PM Indira Gandhi brought in 10’s of millions of Bangladeshi Muslims just to increase their party’s vote bank.

Today these Muslims (supported by other Indian Muslims) have displaced local Assamese Hindus, and Christians and also spreading all over India. If anyone comes in their way, we see large-scale riots as we saw recently in Assam, and also in Mumbai.

Even in Indian Kashmir, Hindus, Sikhs, and Christians who had lived there for 100’s of years have been ETHNICALLY CLEANSED by Kashmiri Muslims. These unfortunate people are living as refugees in their own land.

And, SPINELESS INDIA has no WILL to stop these Muslims!

u
u

they look like Tibetan...I thought indian love tibetan?

Satish Chandra
Satish Chandra

For this and all other issues,

JOIN INDIA'S WAR OF INDEPENDENCE:

JoinIndiaWarOfIndependenceDOTblogspotDOTcom

Save this on your computer/phone and pass it on. Satish Chandra

ProwdLiberal
ProwdLiberal

@Maaq:disqus 

"Look like  you are not very educated, let me get you some piece  of  Hindu tolerance."

BWL - I am BURSTING WITH LAUGHTER at your post.

If I start listing the Islamic BRUTALITY and SAVAGERY it will NEVER END!

You guys have been committing atrocities against other religions since the birth of you religion in the 7th century.

If Muslims in India feel they are persecuted or being discriminated why didn't they leave India during partition? Nobody is holding them back by force.

Because Muslims in India are much better of than they would be in Pakistan.

As a Muslim you should not talk about education. If you see around the world the most UNEDUCATED in the world are MUSLIMS. This is because you follow a 7th century dark age religion and your mullahs brain wash you. 

Have you seen Iran? Run by Ayatollahs! and Saudi Arabia run by dark age Wahhabis. The whole world knows how backward you people are, I don't need to prove anything, you guys have done it already for the world.

Stop drinking Camel Cola!

dimukh
dimukh

The situation is similar to illegal influx of Mexicans to Texas. But the major difference between America and India about the illegal immigrant issue is while America put its best efforts to check and stop the illegal entry of Mexicans, corrupt Indian politicians help the Bangladeshis in entering and settling in Assam to get their votes which plays a major role in 

election. This blatant appeasement called vote bank policy is the most  motivating form of political expediency which unfortunately is very unlikely to cease. Unless Indian government takes some tough measure to resolve this precarious situation, intermittent violence in Assam would always be there. Nothing is going to happen as long as unscrupulous politicians

don't shed their selfish motive to remain in power.

Maaq
Maaq

Indra Gandhi first exploited the issue of Benagali Muslim migrants in1971 to impose war on Pakistan sending army across international borders,she was very proud to say that 2 nation theory is drowned in Bay of Bengal and she has taken revenge of 1000 years of slavery : it is the Dawn of Ram Raj. Seeds of evil sown are now growing mangoes for Mahabharata . Hindu dream of turning India into

Mahabharata  (Ram Raj) is gone sour as Muslims gaining majority in some areas so they decided to go for Muslim genocide.

ProwdLiberal
ProwdLiberal

"In the world's largest democracy, recent fears of pogroms and ethnic violence have highlighted just how fractious and febrile India's social makeup is."

STUPID!

India had this kind of BS from Pakistan all throughout its independent history. Nothing new. Pakistan tried the Khalistan BS and India crushed it. Pakistan tried the Kashmiri BS and India crushed it. Once in a while Pakistan creates these communal differences and hatred and it has been totally unsuccessful so far. Pakistan harbors extreme INFERIORITY COMPLEX when it comes to dealing with India. It knows that India is SUPERIOR in every respect and Pakistan cannot accept it. India successfully broke-up Pakistan into Pakistan and Bangladesh. This was the final nail in Pakistan's coffin. 

So the author is STUPID to think how FRAGILE India is. His comments are laughable. This North East incident is a minor incident in comparison to communal riots after the independence, 2002 Gujarat incidents, Khalistan movement in the 80s. None of them led to any break-up of India. So the author needs to educate himself before making such sweeping statements.

Nilanjan Nag
Nilanjan Nag

Post independence, India has been slowly and steadily reduced to an artificial federation of states with many fault lines in terms of ethnicity, caste, language, and religion.

 For a country of India's magnitude of diversity, India needed a larger than life leader with a clear vision, to make it a cohesive nation, briming with a sense nationalism.  All it got is an ineffective democracy, failed policies and fake idealism of Nehru, followed by pseudo-secularism of the Congress party, that ruled the nation for the most part, post independence.

Indian leadership in the past 66 years have failed to address the rationale of partition and the needs of the Hindus.  Appeasing of the minorities and vote bank politics has ruined India's chances to emerge as a viable nation.

Led by visionless, spineless and corrupt politicians amp; administrators, India is ripe to fall apart .... only a matter of time ..... !

bahadur227
bahadur227

Baharat (india) is not a country as such.Its people are of different race,culture and religion.It was never a united country before Muslim rule/British rule.The stateswere ruled by their own rajas/leaders.Therefore,it will never stay united but will disingrate in the near future.Sooner it happens will be good for the region.

7shine
7shine

We've been hearing this garbage about imminent secession for a long time.  If it was going to happen, presumably it would've happened back in 1950 when India had 10% literacy and 35 year life expectancy.

Secessions are fashionable notions among wannabe intellectuals and fantasies among foreigners.  Back here in the real world, these events are swallowed up as time progresses.  India's seen it all, dealt with it all.  And it was way worse in the past.  So go pick another fantasy.

VIKAS
VIKAS

@SauravJha book of Mahabharata is just a epic mythology there is no anything  connection in the ancient history record ever with issue of MANIPUR AND Nagaland  

Guest
Guest

 "People like Plagarist Mr. Fareed Zakaria (amp; his late Muslim Scholar

Indian father Mr.Rafiq Zakaria) still say that Muslims are discriminated

in India, and also in the US which are in reality two of the greatest

secular democracies in the world."

Despite being secular, discrimination can still occur. They don't necessarily exclude each other.

Maaq
Maaq

I been following your comments with interest looks like word " STUPID"  is  priority  expression, as curiosity want to know if it is from family upbringing or  school education?.

dimukh
dimukh

If you have any problems with Ram Raj of India, why don't you then advise your 'brothers' to settle in Pakistan to have happy and peaceful life with their separated 'big brother'. India would be more than happy in that case. Moreover, Bangladesh 

should always be grateful to India for helping the country in getting freedom from the brutal and suppressive dominance of Pakistan. 

Bharati_shahida
Bharati_shahida

Dear Maaq

 Nothing against Pak but do research and understand E Pak wanted separation because of  W Pak's   exploitation of Muslim E Pak.  Otherwise  E Pak/ Bangladesh would have promptly rejoined first chance. There is B Desh's real history and there are gov texts produced under Gen Gul, once head of ISI.  Why not ask B Deshi Muslim women?  That could provide the truth. 

ProwdLiberal
ProwdLiberal

"Muslims gaining majority in some areas so they decided to go for Muslim genocide."

Do you know that Muslims are NOT LIKED in Europe, North America, South America, non Muslims Asia, non Muslim Africa...I have not come across another religion that is disliked so much by so many people. May be you want to think hard and deep why so many people dislike Islam and Muslims.

Nilanjan Nag
Nilanjan Nag

Assam and NE is just a tip of the iceberg .... !   India is slowly and steadily being eaten by termite  ...... !

Bharati_shahida
Bharati_shahida

I am most sympathetic: but how long will u wait for 'The Leader'?  Shouldn't ordinary folks try to solve whatever ails them? 

e.g. by not having kids unless you  can care for them. 

e.g. by seeking to better themselves in every way.

e.g. by building bridges with every type of neighbor: Hindu, Muslim (or plain mad!) so you are there for each other long before any crisis. 

e.g. by caring for your wonderful countryside.

Are we still to wait for another B Shah Zafar? You know where that led. Ask what you can do for yourself: all who succeeded in India do that.  Most rich Indians came from poverty and illiteracy, many have braved unimaginable odds just to survive.  Success leaves tracks: see what you can do to better yourself and your neighbors.  

A democracy means working together and certainly it means giving up certain  personal rights.  A republic means WE are responsible for our gov.  

The NE is brimming with culture,  resources, beauty and talented folk. Seek them, let them govern you and make yourselves the best. 'I constantly have to prove my Indian-ness .' India is a large country. Most of us have never seen a Chinese looking person up close. An African girl was stopped often and locals asked if they could feel her hair: people were curious, they had never seen this before . This is NOT racism but wonder.  Yes, if you don't look like the majority, this is true everywhere. Why get mad about it? Why not see that every NE or Muslim or whoever becomes the best ambassador  s/he can be?  If you live overseas ,  you often have to do that every minute. 

Racism is when you are treated badly because of your race. 

Recently while helping a church choir in NY, an Indian  friend was asked what she was doing there by an officious white woman.  My friend simply said she was a volunteer, rather than huffily replying she was American too.  

Repeat: Why not see that every NE or Muslim or whoever becomes the best ambassador  s/he can be? Do educate us about your states.

Maaq
Maaq

Lust for land grab by  occupying Muslim majority areas like Hyderabad, Kashmir, Junagarh etc by force at the time of partition resulted in an India with singnificant amount of minorities. Indian leader ship failed to  address the diverse demography of state properly and tried to impose Ram Raj covertly resulting in  many freedom struggles like Khalistan, Kashmir, Naga Land, Maos etc. India is very unstable internally having problems with all its neighbors. one can predict some catastrophic events in the region any time. 

ProwdLiberal
ProwdLiberal

You should have lived under Chinese communism and seen what life would be like. Even better, you should lived in an Islamic country and seen how life would be especially under the dark age SHARIA. By this time they would have either thrown you into a prison, or amputated arms, hanged, beheaded or slit your throat. Also if you had seen Syria, they are throwing people from multi story buildings on to the ground. In China they have death sentence for every crime. So now my question is, is life better in India or China or an Islamic country?

India at least doing its best and moved 500+ million people into middle class from poor class. It is doing it through democracy and secularism. Muslims are and have been throughout history problem for the mankind. Muslims not only kill each other (Sunnis kill Shais and vice versa) and people of all other religions. This is a Muslim/Islam problem not India problem. 

Bharati_shahida
Bharati_shahida

Please do see the borders of Ashok's or Chandragupta's kingdoms. Just one example! 

Bharati_shahida
Bharati_shahida

You mean like Scotland, etc. were ruled by various Europeans for centuries? Even today the German origin Queen, (the House of Hanover really),  rules and is the richest in the UK. Parts of the US too, has had a variety of rulers like the Mexicans, native Americans, the Protestant UK, Catholic France, etc. and fairly recently too. 

Agreed borders shift, rulers change but there is a common underlying culture and belief which includes Muslims/ Hindus/ Christians, etc. over just about all of India/ Bharat.  Few ordinary Indian Muslims would, for example, ever stamp or jump over a picture of Lakshmi, even if they do not believe in her.

Overseas, most older Pakistanis, especially those from undivided Bharat, promptly become our friends: those educated by experience and not  gov texts! Indians do not hate  Pakistan just because of a line drawn by the UK to suit its own purpose. We sympathise when we see  Pak  used as a battering ram by western powers in Kashmir, Afgh, etc.  and it elite paid off, its economy ruined by imported money, weapons, etc.

7shine
7shine

Last I checked, Pakistan is the one that got split in two.  India seems to be doing fine; if anything, its relative position is stronger than ever.  Observing empirical evidence is apparently not a forte of the Pakistanis.

ProwdLiberal
ProwdLiberal

Really??

I have been hearing this break-up BS for a long time, probably 60+ years. India / Bharat (not Baharat as you mentioned in your post) will remain united. The unifying factor for India is Hinduism. Muslim Rule united India? LOL!

Muslims as you see even today all over the world are savages and brutes. Muslim rule / invasion of India is one of the darkest periods of Indian history. Muslims all over the world in every continent are fighting not only themselves but also all other religions (Christians in Nigeria, Phillipines, western countries, Hindus in India, Buddhists in Myanmar, Jews in the middle-east). 

What is wrong with Muslims? Watch what will happen to Pakistan and Bangladesh. They will be next Syria. The dark age Sunnis killing the dark age Shias. 

India had Khalistan movement and nothing happened. Kashmiri movement - nothing happened. India is very resilient union unlike Islamic countries. You guys are born savages and brutes. The sooner most of you die, the better it is for the whole world. Watch out for the US drones. The dreaded drone death of Islamic Terrorists aka Muslims.

Nilanjan Nag
Nilanjan Nag

@ 7shine,

You live a selfish life.  You have no idea about how life  is for the majority of Indian people, mostly living in the rural areas, where they do not have two square meals a day, let alone education, health, water and electricity, 66 years after the so called independence.It is for people like you, India is where it is today .... !

Maaq
Maaq

Wow so much hate !!! please cool down, you have life to live, please get some ccc (Cold Cow Cola) that will calm you down also please stop looking at world through Hindu prism.

ProwdLiberal
ProwdLiberal

Yes, the termites are called Muslims! The whole world is being eaten by the same termites. Looks like you do not have much knowledge about Muslims and their history

whomedoyou
whomedoyou

 Maaq - get your head straight. There is no Muslim land in India. It is Indian land - secular land that peoples of all faiths have right to live on and off.

What the Indian leadership has failed to address is a different matter.

ProwdLiberal
ProwdLiberal

STUPID! You are drinking too much of Camel Cola.

India ended up with large population of minorities because India and Hindus are very secular people and are very tolerant. Unlike Pakistan, Indians/Hindus in India did not kill and butcher minorities as it was done in Pakistan during and after partition. India let hundreds of millions Muslims live in India and have equal rights like the majority Hindus. It shows how TOLERANT Hindus are. On the contrary Muslims and Islam are known to be highly INTOLERANT of any one other than Muslims. That is why Muslims are fighting every other religion on all the continents on the planet. Muslims also kill each other brutally. Sunnis hate Shias, Ismailis and all other sects of Islam as infidels and heretics and resort to brutal violence against them. 

Learn to be TOLERANT towards all religions. Respect all religions like all other non-Islamic religions do. Come into the 21st century instead of living in a 7th century religion and don't let you mullahs and religious clergy run your life and brain wash you in your madrasas.

Bharati_shahida
Bharati_shahida

Emperor Ashok's kingdom and  Chandragupta's kingdom are only two examples to show the borders of Bharat, of a common ethos, beliefs, dharma ('upholding society'), etc.  Hindu scriptures  are about the same everywhere in Bharat/India for centuries, and historically,  up to Java,  Kamboj, parts of Vietnam. Names  like Hindu Kush and Lahore are also old.

One example: Kerala priests have always traveled and worked in Nepal. For centuries anyway!  Most ancient teachers  have traveled allover India and mostly the same scriptures are seen in e.g. Tamilnadu or Assam.

90+% of Indian languages  use the same Sanskrit origin words and grammar. Urdu too has the same grammar and Sanskrit words except for the Arabic/Persian  additions. (Agreed Urdu was not accepted by most Indian Muslims as 'their' language as only the Lucknow and  some northern elite folk used it. It was alien to most Indian Muslims and they protested when the Indian gov tried calling it 'their' language. Like Jinnah, they spoke Gujarati, Marathi, etc. )

Is the Pak gov teaching anything which suits it and calling it genuine  history?  Come on, you can do better than that! 

The  Prophet (PBUH) has definitely stated it is wrong to lie, especially if  it is aimed at promoting unholy, unjust wars/attacks.

Peace!

Nilanjan Nag
Nilanjan Nag

@ Prowd Liberal,    IF you had a bit of vision, you would have known that 66 years is a drop in terms of time in history.  The Hindus in India have failed to learn from history, adhoc-ism will neither save India nor the Hindus.  Leaderless, they will again be ruled by the non-Hindus in the future .....

Bharati_shahida
Bharati_shahida

No gov can do much if people keep producing kids they cannot care for.   India already provides reasonable, if not  good, living to about 300 million: about the same no as the entire US.

7shine
7shine

LOL.  Let's analyse this poster.  Based on this Facebook (click name), he is from Assam.  Yet he went to college in Bhopal.  So this poster disparages India and is desperate for India to fall apart (check his post below), but apparently he has no problems utilizing India's resources.  Slime-ball hypocrite.  Feel free to move to another country if you don't like it.

Sundar Vadrevu
Sundar Vadrevu

Nilanjan, how do you think that a cry for secession would help resolving the issues you have mentioned? I am torn deep inside reading 7shine's comments, but I agree with "it was way worse in the past". Thinking about secession is indeed a fantasy amp; the issues you mentioined need better thoughts amp; strategy.

SidR
SidR

@Maaq, let me educate you a bit, you self righteous prick, the basis of the partition was religion, you got your sh^amp;Ho_le called Pukistan, the rest belongs to India. So stop your crap about muslim land in India

whomedoyou
whomedoyou

 @Maaq:disqus  - what does the partition have to do with your sensational claim to all these places being Muslim land?

Maaq
Maaq

whomedoyou could you please educate me the basis of 1947 partition of India?

Bharati_shahida
Bharati_shahida

Dear Maaq

This is by a Christian Goan historian. (Not Hindu/Muslim, etc.)

John III’s “pleasure” was scrupulously carried out, and in fact hundreds of Hindu temples were demolished in and around Goa, and in other Portuguese territories around that time.  Writes historian T.R.de Souza: “At least from 1540 onwards, and in the island of Goa before that year, all the Hindu idols had been annihilated or had disappeared, all the temples had  been destroyed and their sites and building materials were in most cases utilized to erect new Christian Churches and chapels.Various Vice regal and church council decrees banished the Hindu priests from he Portuguese territories; the public practice of Hindu rites including marriage rites, was banned; the state took upon itself the task of bringing up Hindu orphan children; the Hindus were denied certain employments, while the Christians were preferred; it was ensured that the Hindus would not harass those become Christians , and on the contrary, the Hindus were obliged to assemble periodically in churches to listen to preaching or to the refutation of their religion”

Destruction apart, all temple properties were confiscated:“…The government transferred to the Church and religious orders the properties and others sources of revenue that had belonged to the Hindu temples that had been demolished or to the temple servants who had been converted or banished. Entire villages were taken over at times for being considered rebellious and handed over with all their revenues to the Jesuits. In the villages that had submitted themselves, at times en masse, to being converted, the religious orders promoted competition to build bigger and bigger churches and more chapels than their neighboring villages. Such a competition, drawing funds and diverting labor, from other important welfare works of the village, was decisively bringing the village economy in Goa into bankruptcy. **

Countless edicts *** were issued to persecute the Hindus, restrain them from following their customs, or confiscate their properties on the slightest pretexts. They could no longer sing or play music at their festivals, could not distribute betel leaves, and could not  distribute  betel leaves, could not hold “banquets,” could erect pandals,could not clean a house with cow dung after someone’s death, could not hold ceremonies” in memory of their deceased relations,” could not celebrate harvests, could not bath before entering the kitchen to cook food, could not fast on the eleventh day of the new moon or full moon or on any other sacred day, could not wear the dhoti or the choli in  public, could not keep coconut trees or tulasi in their gardens , and could not do a host of their things they had been doing for centuries. Some edicts made it compulsory for Hindus to “ come with their families to places assigned for the purpose to listen to the preaching of the Holy Gospel”, “Brahmins and other infidels” could not holds  ay office, were taxed heavily. Hindu orphans were “to be taken immediately and handed over to the Collage of St. Paul of the Society of Jesus of the said city of Goa, for being baptized, educated and indoctrinated by the Fathers…..,” which order soon extended to those who simply lived with their grandparents, or occasionally to just any chills; some of the “orphans” were returned on payment of what can only be called a reason. Other methods of extortion abounded. Harassment and depredation apart, the object of those abhorrent” laws” was to force all “infidels” to convert. T.R.Souza notes:

                        “A particularly grave abuse was practiced in Goa in the form of ‘mass baptism’ and what went before it. The practice was begun by the Jesuits and was later initiated by the Franciscans also. The Jesuits staged an annual  mass baptism on the Feast of the Conversation of St. Paul(January 25) , and in order to secure as many neophytes as possible, a few days before the ceremony the Jesuits would go through the streets of the Hindu quarter in paris, accompanied by their Negro slaves, whom they would urge to seize the Hindus.  When the blacks caught up a fugitive, they would smear his lips with a piece of beef, making hi an ‘untouchable’ among his people. Conversion to Christianity was then his only option” ****          

     Worse were the innumerable pretexts under which a Hindu could be arrested by the Inquisition: any accusation of blasphemy against Christianity, and denunciation for an alleged act contrary to one of the myriad edicts was enough. Apart from Christian converts denouncing Hindus, Hindus were encouraged to denounce each other; the latter practice reached such proportions that such arrests “lead to the death of a majority of the prisoners, as according to their custom they cannot eat food unless it is cooked by persons of their own caste….,” and begging the Holy Office not to “take cognizance of any crime by denunciation and proof furnished by Hindus alone…..”

   In 1729, Viceroy Joao Saldanha da Gama doubted (in Priolkar’s words) “whether the Inquisition could legitimately take cognizance of the actions of those who were never Catholics”, and reported that “the effect of the harassment by the Inquisition was a large scale migration of the Hindus to the neighbouring territories, and the consequent ruin of commerce within the Portuguese territories…” Migration of those who had been lucky enough to survive, that is. As for those who succumbed, they suffered, a second death in the oblivion that later historians imposed on them     

  * Jacinto Frere Andrade, life of Dom Joao Casho (tr.into English by Sir Peter Wyche), 1664,p 45 (quoted by K. M Panikar, Malabar and the Portuguese, 1929,pp. 186-87).    

** Excerpted from Dr. Teotonio R de Souza’s “The Portuguese in Asia and their Church Patronage,” in western Colonialism in Asia and Christianity, ed.M.D.David (Bombay: 1988). The author is a Christian Goan and a reputed historian of Goa, author of numerous papers and several books in English and Portuguese.(Eds.)    

*** Many examples are listed in chapters 6, 7 amp; 8 of The Goa Inquisition by A.K. Priolkar (Bombay: 1961, republished New Delhi: Voice of India, 1991). The next few quotations are from those chapters 

**** Teotonio R. de Souza “The Portuguese in Asia and their Church Patronage,” op. cit.                     

Maaq
Maaq

Look like  you are not very educated, let me get you some piece  of  Hindu tolerance.

  Anti-Christian violence in IndiaIn recent years, there has been a sharp increase in violent attacks on Christians in India, often perpetrated by Hindu Nationalists.[118]Between 1964 and 1996, thirty-eight incidents of violence against Christians were reported.[119] In 1997, twenty-four such incidents were reported.[120] In 1998, it went up to ninety.[119] Between January 1998 and February 1999 alone, one hundred and sixteen attacks against Christians in India were reported by church.[121] Between 1 January and 30 July 2000, more than fifty-seven attacks on Christians were reported.[122] These acts of violence include forcible reconversion of converted Christians to Hinduism, distribution of threatening literature and destruction of Christian cemeteries.[118][119][122]In some cases, anti-Christian violence has been co-ordinated, involving multiple attacks. In Orissa, starting December 2007, Christians have been attacked in Kandhamal and other districts, resulting in the deaths of two Hindus and one Christian, and the destruction of houses and churches. Hindu Extremists claim that, Christians first killed a Hindu saint Laxmananand. So the attacks on Christians supposedly were in retaliation. However there was no conclusive proof to support this claim. [123][124][125][126][127] Twenty people were arrested following the attacks on churches.[126] Similarly, starting 14 September 2008, there were numerous incidents of violence against the Christian community in Karnataka.Foreign Christian missionaries have mostly been targets of attacks.[128] In a well-publicised case Graham Staines, an Australian missionary, was burnt to death while he was sleeping with his two sons Timothy (aged 9) and Philip (aged 7) in his station wagon at Manoharpur village in Keonjhar district in Orissa in January 1999.[118][128][129][130] In 2003, Dara Singh was convicted of leading the gang responsible.[131][132][133]In its annual human rights reports for 1999, the United States Department of State criticised India for "increasing societal violence against Christians."[134] The report listed over 90 incidents of anti-Christian violence, ranging from damage of religious property to violence against Christian pilgrims.[134]In 2007 and 2008 there was a further flare up of tensions in Orissa. Another church was attacked in BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh, where unidentified persons set two Statues inside St Peter and Paul Church in Jabalpur on fire,[135] and more attacks in Karnataka,.[136] The archbishop, Bernard Moras, met the BJP CM BS Yeddyurappa after he had taken a decision to invoke the provisions of Goonda Actagainst those nabbed for vandalising churches as part of its strategy to salvage its image and to instill confidence. The Bajrang Dal convenor was arrested after the incidents of church burning in Mangalore.[137][138] In light of these events NDTV asked to ban theBajrang Dal.[139]

Maaq
Maaq

Thank you for the education, I do know Lahore is after the name Lahuv, 2nd son of Raja of  Ramayan . Can you please explain the meaning and origin of Hindu Kush?.

Bharati_shahida
Bharati_shahida

Dear Maaq

Not living in Ashok's time (maybe unfortunately!) but recording that the concept of one nation, with most people believing and living in a similar way is NOT recent or a new fangled notion for today's India.

Maaq
Maaq

May beg your pardon to bring you to reality,  please wake up and stop living in 

Chandragupta's age, unfortunately ground realities leave no space for Ram Raj (Mahabharata) in India, May that be possible on Mars, Good luck.

SidR
SidR

I agree with you, anytime there  is an article about ethinic strife or any article disparaging India, then these wannabe armchair posers come into the picture with their half brained ideas. As the  fellow (Nilanjan) mentioned, India's weakness (Democracy) is also its greatest strength. Our country is still united, because we cherish our democratic ideals, change will have to come from within and not from any other institution, much less the military. Let me ask the military lover Nilanjan another question. How clean do you think the army is, every other day there is a news story about another army officer caught in a scam. Why do the armed forces prefer buy foreign equipment, 99% of which is imported. They have never in the history of independent India encouraged domestic industry. No other army functions like ours--food for thought

Nilanjan Nag
Nilanjan Nag

If you had paid attention to my posts, you would find I do not relish the idea of India falling apart. All I wanted to say is, India can not go on for ever,  in the way it has been going since past 66 years .....  falling apart is the only logical end ..... ! 

Nilanjan Nag
Nilanjan Nag

Politics as a career option is not what India needs. Looting the nation in the name of Democracy is not what India needs .

India needs patriots as politicians who would sacrifice their lives for the nation ...

Only a military take over can save India.